Whether it’s cross-town or cross-country, moving is a major undertaking. For your cat, moving may also be frightening or overwhelming. While new sights and smells are appealing, how can you best prepare your cat for such a big transition?
Moving inspires a sense of chaos that your cat may never have experienced before. Because it’s common for stressed, frightened, or irritated pets to go missing before or during a move, make sure your cat’s microchip is current and his or her ID tags are secure. Update your new contact information and ensure your phone number is easy to read.
When packing your belongings and furniture, it’s always best to leave out your cat’s creature comforts. This process can be unnerving to a cat that’s used to a routine, and all of his or her pillows, blankets, toys, and perches should remain accessible until the moving van pulls away. You’ll also need these as soon as you arrive to your new home.
If you’re moving away from our area, you can still access your pet’s medical history and vaccination records through the VPI PAWS System. We’re also happy to provide your new veterinarian with copies of prescriptions or health certificates. Before you move, it’s a good idea to research clinics and emergency hospitals in your new zip code.
When the big day arrives, try to seclude your cat from the constant opening and closing of doors, loud noises, and strangers. If your cat is a pro at crate training, you’ll be in for a less stressful day. Otherwise, the bathroom or a well-ventilated area works well for your cat to remain undisturbed. You may also consider boarding your cat with us before taking off.
No matter how you plan on getting to your new home, moving can be dangerous if your cat isn’t safe, secure, and hydrated in his or her carrier. Depending on your destination and mode of transportation, it’s a good idea to brush up on pet travel safety. Also keep your pet’s medical records, first aid kit, and any medication or prescription food on hand. If you’re uncertain how your cat will respond to traveling, we recommend reading up on how to respond in a crisis.
Moving your cat to a new home will pay off the first time you see him or her peek out of the crate and explore the new digs. However, don’t be surprised if your cat hides for a short period of time.
When you first arrive – and before you open the carrier – closely inspect the windows and doors for security. Introduce yourself to the neighbors and let them know you have a cat in case he or she escapes or gets lost in your new neighborhood.
Unpack items that spell out H-O-M-E to your cat. Set out his or her litter pan, food and water dishes, and familiar blankets and toys immediately. If you’re moving near your old place, keep in mind your cat may try to find his or her way back there.
We hope you’ll call us with any questions or concerns about moving your cat. It’s never easy, but it doesn’t have to be painful! Good luck!